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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Maine's Team of Rivals - Governor 2011

Many Maine advocacy groups are taking time to carefully interview the state's new governor. Only one out of the herd of about 27 talented people will be elected to lead Maine beginning in 2011. Yes indeed, at least 27 people were running when I last checked. They are a formidable team of rivals. Their political parties are Republicans, Democrats, Green Independents and Independents. There's a menu selection of names running in each political party.

Participating on nine interviews was one of the best jobs I've ever been assigned. Although I admit to entering these interviews with some preconceived ideas about who the candidates were, I was deligtfully surprised by the outcomes in the nine meetings I attended. I was fortuante to interview exceptionally talented, qualified and dedicated people who sincerely want to build a better Maine. Their diverse talents came together when they discussed how to fix Maine's struggling economy. They want to do whatever it takes to improve it.

Of course, supporters of individual candidates will take issue with my sweeping generalization about the credentials of those I interviewed. My response is for critics to interview the candidates I've interviewed so we can compare notes. I'll wager it will be as difficult as sapping Maple in July to collect negatives about Maine's team of gubernatorial rivals.

Whew! A rival team of decent and qualified people running for the governor of Maine, the most economically needy state in New England. Maine badly needs visionary leadership to attract people with 21st century skill sets to the state. Jobs in technology and science are badly needed if young people are going to claim Maine as their home. Maine is a beautiful place to live but, unfortunately, too few high paying jobs are available to make living here worthwhile. Lost manufacturing jobs have not been equally replaced by new or innovative industries. I met a young man in Northern Maine several months ago who said he could not name even one new business coming into the city of Caribou in the past year, 2009. Ouch!

I'm not an economist nor a political science major, but I have a good sense about when change needs to happen. Maine has a good team of guvernatorial candidates among the 9 who I interviewed. But, which one can lead as a change agent?

New ideas for economic growth are badly needed here.

Hopefully, my interviews introduced me to Maine's next leader. I suggest the new governor hire all those who ran in the primary election of 2010, because this team of rivals will undoubtedly put Maine economically back together again.

Readers, no doubt, want to know which candidates I interviewed. In alphabetical order they were: Beardsley, Cutler, Jacobson, LePage, Mills, Otten, Poliquin, Richardson and Rowe.

Each is a formidable candidate who has the will to win and lead change. It's a good idea for Maine people to carefully engage in an interview process of their own making to meet this team of qualified rivals.

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